The pandemic will unsurprisingly lead to fewer and smaller Super Bowl parties, but gambling on the game is expected to take a rare nosedive as well.
Though an American Gaming Association survey estimates $4.3 billion in wagers for Super Bowl 55, the number is a staggering 36.7% drop from last year’s showdown.
The survey of 2,198 adults showed 7.6 million people plan to place a bet with an online sportsbook for Super Bowl 55, a 63% increase over a year ago.
But a 61% downturn in bets made at in-person sportsbooks, and a 21% drop in illegal bets, largely cancel out those additions. Moreover, fewer Americans are expected to play in Super Bowl pools among friends and coworkers.
Some insiders, however, are optimistic about the legal uptick.
“While the pandemic certainly put a damper on in-person and social bets, this year’s Super Bowl will [still] draw the largest single-event legal sports betting handle in U.S. history,” Bill Miller, president and CEO of the AGA, told Front Office Sports.
U.S. sports betting is now legal in 21 jurisdictions — seven more than in February last year.